This section lists events that i am aware of that i think might be of interest locally. If there isn’t anything listed, it just means that i haven’t posted anything. Often events occur that i don’t notice.
Public Telescope Observing – Star Parties
RASC Dark Sky Star Parties
The Ottawa branch of the RASC organizes free dark sky “star parties” at the Carp Library and Cumberland Heritage Museum. Club members bring their telescopes and invite the public to look through them. The events are scheduled in advance for weekend nights when there isn’t a moon lighting up the evening sky. Generally there is one event held per month from May to August while there may be several tentative dates selected in advance. The first clear night of the month is selected for the actual event. A “go no-go” decision will be declared a few days prior to one of the tentative dates and published on the RASC website. The dates and status can be viewed at:
Look for the “Summer Star Party Schedule” link about midway down.
OAFs and OAOG Sidewalk Astronomy
In support of public astronomy both the OAFs and OAOG hold impromptu sidewalk observing sessions. Side walk astronomy, as the name implies, takes place on a sidewalk somewhere in the city. “Club” members invite people passing by to look through their telescopes. And of course it’s free.
The OAFs frequent the west end Chapters book store at Centrum while the OAOG hold side walk observing sessions in the east end at the Ogilvie Road Chapters location.
Sidewalk astronomy sessions are generally held when the moon is visible in the evening (usually around first quarter) and/or a planet can be seen. An actual sidewalk event though, is organized at the last minute via email when someone realizes that it will be a clear night. So it’s best to subscribe directly to the group’s respective mailing list to know when an event will take place. See the Clubs page on this site for more info on how to subscribe to the group’s email lists.
The Cube Gallery organizes a side walk astronomy session as part of their Nuit Noire exhibition. It’s billed as the only in-city dark sky star party. They have the city turn off the street lights on one street where they hold the star party and local clubs bring their telescopes.
The RASC has a regular monthly meeting that is open to the public. The meetings include presentations about astronomy related topics and local observing so is therefore of interest to everyone. The meetings are held at the Museum of Science and Tech and are generally scheduled for the first Friday of each month. For the actual schedule and status visit the RASC Monthly Meeting Page (external link).
OAFs and OAOG
The OAOG gather monthly for a “gab session” to chat about their activities and astronomy news. These are usually held in a restaurant or coffee shop on the first Friday of the month. The gab sessions are organized or announced via their email list. See the Clubs page for information on how to find about the OAOG activities.
The OAFs don’t have any regular meetings or gatherings. Although they do tend to attend the RASC monthly meetings and support the RASC and Museum of Science and Tech planned activities.